At its worst, marketing automation platforms make customers feel insignificant, used and frustrated. It’s not personalised, it’s possibly invasive and worst of all…it’s one way. You’re talking at your customers.
As CRM Search puts it, “the dirty little secret that marketing automation software vendors don’t share is that most of their customers relegate their solutions to nothing more than glorified email distributions”. Your marketing strategy has been reduced to a nasty one-way ‘blast’ at your customers.
So how do you avoid this ultimate marketing automation no-no?
Go beyond email.
Give your customers some credit. They know that email marketing is very low cost, a numbers game. You are happy to cast the net wide and fill the nation’s inboxes in the hope of a low response rate that nonetheless provides a return.
Incorporating SMS and voice provides more personalised communications, better engagement and better ROI. If you have a contact number, you should be in a customers trusted inner circle (assuming it was a deliberate opt-in). Make use of it with SMS and Voice.
Provide great content.
The difference between bad, indifferent and great content is relevance. This means only presenting information or offers that you know are going to be relevant to the recipient. At the least, exclude those who are definitely not relevant.
Time it right
The same automated marketing communications can be viewed very differently depending on when they’re sent. If you have a series of lead generation emails leading up to a key time – for example accounting services around tax time – their value is going to appreciate when these services are coming in to high demand. To send them 6 months later makes them borderline spam.
If you’re in the accounting services game, you should be thinking about salient messages for the rest of the year to stay relevant – bookkeeping solutions, tax deductable expense tips etc that are less time-sensitive.
Provide a reply path and have a conversation.
The one-way nature of early marketing automation gave it a bad name. Happily, the tools exist today to make automated communications conversational. Think 2-way SMS (using reply keywords), options to transfer calls to live operators on recorded voice menus, and chatbots.
At its best, marketing automation is personalised, timely and welcomed. Whatever you do, stop spamming the world from your ‘email@example.com’ email address, show your customers some respect, and you’ll see the difference in your campaign performance.
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